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According to ABC News, attorneys for victims killed and injured during 2021’s deadly Astroworld music festival alleged in court on Monday that rapper Travis Scott has violated a gag order issued in lawsuits they have filed. They allege Scott engaged in an effort to influence possible jurors and rebuild his reputation ahead of a potential trial.
Earlier this month Scott posted about Project HEAL, a $5 million initiative that includes funding to address safety challenges for festivals and large-scale events. As a backdrop, Houston police and federal officials have been investigating whether Travis Scott, concert promoter Live Nation, and others had put in place sufficient safety measures.
Travis Scott maintains his innocence.
“My team and I created Project HEAL to take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be. I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever,” Scott penned earlier this month on Instagram.
Travis Scott has participated in numerous charitable endeavors throughout his career, most of which are posted on social media. However, Bob Hilliard, one of the attorneys representing the family of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest person to die from injuries during the festival, said during a court hearing Monday that Scott used his social media influence to address concert safety, one of the issues being debated by the lawsuits.
State District Judge Kristen Hawkins said that lawyers could tell the media about factual issues that occur in court, but she didn’t want either parties to make their cases in the court of public opinion and possibly influence the jury pool.
Lawyers argue Scott’s post could be influential to potential jurors.
Travis Scott’s actions “did affect and dent the power of your order,” Hilliard told Judge Hawkins, who’s overseeing the nearly 500 lawsuits filed after 10 people died and hundreds of others were injured during Astroworld’s massive crowd surge.
Other attorneys in the case told Hawkins they were working to find an agreement on modifying the gag order and could have a resolution to these different concerns and could be presented to her in a couple of weeks.
Those who died in the concert ranged in age from nine to 27 years old. Roughly 300 people were injured and treated at the scene, and 25 were taken to hospitals. Those killed died from compression asphyxia.